“I know that day I saved countless lives,” Lt. Michael Byrd said in an interview with NBC News. “I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger. And that’s my job.”
The officer fatally shot Babbitt in the shoulder while she climbed through a window that led into the Speaker’s Lobby, adjacent to the House chamber, while lawmakers were evacuating.
“I tried to wait as long as I could,” Byrd said of the incident in the doorway. “I hoped and prayed no one tried to enter through those doors. But their failure to comply required me to take the appropriate action to save the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers.”
The Justice Department said in April that Byrd wouldn’t be criminally charged in connection with Babbitt’s death, and the US Capitol Police said last week that he wouldn’t face any internal discipline. He could still face civil litigation from Babbitt’s family, which has threatened a lawsuit.
This story is breaking and will be updated.